New Amusement Added To Sports Complex
(March 4, 2016) – The creative people at North Myrtle Beach Parks and Recreation never stop innovating. Just last September, the City Council approved the lease of the northern half of the lake at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex to Apex Cable Parks. The company will install and operate a cable ski park there.
Greg Norman Jr. is the founder of Apex Wake Parks, hence the reference to “Shark” in “Shark Wake Park”, which is part of the Greg Norman brand.
How it works is amazingly simple. A cable connected to a skier’s rope and handle tows people over the water while they ride wakeboards or water skis, eliminating the traditional motorboat and its associated expense and environmental impact.
Pat Dowling, City Public Affairs Officer, said, “The cable system will have six towers and be longer than 3,200 ft. It can pull eight to nine riders at one time. There will also be a linear cable with controlled speed for beginners as well as jumps and rails for people with more skills.”
According to Dowling, the structure will consist of cables suspended in the air from a series of towers (or masts) surrounding the northern half of the lake at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex. The overhead cable rotates in a (usually) counterclockwise motion around the lake. Along the cable are a number of carriers from which ski ropes will attach to and pull a rider or skier around the lake.
This type of facility gained a lot of popularity in Europe, spread to Florida and other locales, and is now being brought to North Myrtle Beach. The system is not restricted to wakeboarding and water skiing - people of all ages can slalom, trick ski, kneeboard, wake board and more.
Cable skiing feels different that water skiing behind a boat. The higher angle of pull makes bigger "air" and sharper turns possible. Generally, on wakeboard-only cables, there are ramps and sliders for the riders to use. Another way for wakeboarders to get air on the cable is to "load the line." Loading the line is putting tension on the rope and using the water as a spring to fling oneself into the air. Though it is possible to do this behind a boat, the higher angle of pull and the slight jerk on the corners allow good riders to get much higher.
A web site, Cableparks.info, lists 379 cable parks throughout the world. On the East Coast, in states surrounding North Myrtle Beach are only seven sites. They are in North Carolina at Fayetteville, Benson, Greenville, and Semora. One is in Haiawassee, GA near the South Carolina border and two are around Atlanta. Rates have not yet been published. However the Smith Lake facility at Fayetteville charges $18 for 1 hour, $23 for 2 hours, $35 for 4 hours and $45 for all day for water ski, knee board or wake skate. Military discounts are available.
Equipment will be arriving today for the start of construction of the Shark Wake Park on the Lake at the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex. Contractors will be using heavy equipment on parts of the CCNB Lake Trail March 4 and March 5. As a result, parts of the trail that will be closed to users. Signage will be posted in the impacted areas.